It can be extremely challenging being someone who is ambitious but stuck in an environment that doesn’t encourage or foster growth and success. If you’re unable to extract yourself from such circumstances, here are a few ways that can help you stay strong, focused and potentially become successful despite your environment.
Be selfish with your time & energy
There’s no worse feeling than regretting the way you used your time. Most of us have moments in our lives where we wish we’d used our time more wisely. Being in an environment of time wasters it’s easy to get sucked down this path. Be protective of your time and energy. If you want your destiny to be different, then your every day is going to look a lot different than everyone else’s. You need to be okay with that.
What you put in is what you’ll get out
If you’re already surrounded by less than ideal role models then use the power of the internet, books, music, social media to feed yourself with the motivation, tips and tools to help you challenge your situation. Take 15 mins each morning and night to read something inspirational whether it’s a quote from your favourite entrepreneur or a magazine in the industry you’re striving to be a part of. The idea is to change how you are being influenced.
Say no to things you don’t want to do
One of the hardest things when you’re struggling to remain focused but you’re surrounded by appealing distractions is to say no. Don’t feel obligated to sacrifice your to-do list to participate in activities someone else might deem important. If watching the latest Star Wars movie isn’t important to you that’s okay. Eventually, they will get an understanding of your priorities versus theirs.
Aim high but set realistic incremental goals
A valued piece of advice I was given a long time ago was “set realistic goals.” This does not mean aim lower but instead set up an incremental system for yourself. If you would like to be a millionaire by the time you’re 40 then first try breaking down and mapping out how you plan on making twice as much as you do now, and then take it from there. It can be crippling setting ambitious goals; overwhelmed on how to get there. Don’t psyche yourself out before you’ve even begun.
Don’t overthink success
You won’t have all the answers in the beginning and truth is, you’ll probably never have all the answers. We can get caught up idolizing the people who seem to do it all and have it all together but they started just the way you did. You just need to start and take it from there, until you do everything is hypothetical. A great way to demystify success is to research how some of your role models got their start. Many times starting with a challenging environment gives you the strength, insight and empathy to become a great leader, thinker and influencer.